Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Digiscoping for Birders

Digiscoping for Birders

Digiscoping for birders is an ideal pastime for many people, and it provides an opportunity to find and capture wonderful and rare birds in amazing detail with the magnification that digiscoping offers. Digiscoping using a telescope, binoculars or spotting scope can turn your camera into a powerful optical device.

Whether it’s a hobby, pastime or a sport, birders is an increasingly popular activity, and when it is combined with digiscoping, it has made bird photography accessible for many people. The activity has also transformed the way in which birds are documented.

Combining a spotting scope with a camera is how digiscoping entered the birding sector. In addition, the excellent magnification capabilities along with the fact that it is always used on a stable support mean that the equipment is an ideal resource for capturing distant birds in detail.

In the early days of digiscoping, the process of connecting all of the equipment together was complex and time-consuming. Today it is much easier and only requires a few basic accessories. One of the key advantages of the spotting scope is that you can obtain much greater image magnification than any traditional telephoto lens and you won’t have to worry about carrying heavy lenses around on your photography trip.

Digiscoping for Birders: Cameras and Scopes

There are numerous ways to connect the camera to a spotting scope. Where a scope comes with a removable eyepiece, many manufacturers will supply a camera attachment which neatly fixes the scope in place on the eyepiece. The adapter will then connect to either a generic thread which allows multiple cameras to be attached or a proprietary lens. Where a scope has a non-interchangeable eyepiece, there are several different mounts that enable the camera to be attached to the actual eyepiece.

A camera for digiscoping can range from a Smartphone device through to an advanced digital, single lens reflex camera. The higher the megapixel, the higher quality image will be produced. The optics used for digiscoping also vary considerably with higher quality optics producing better quality images. There is no doubt about it, digiscoping can be a challenge, and a sturdy tripod is crucial to capture high-quality images. Light tripods will result in a lot of vibration in the spotting scope which will result in photographs with a lot of blur. In windy conditions, the tripod can be weighted down with a backpack.

There are numerous adapters available on the market which vary in shape, size and price, suitable for both Smartphones and cameras. The majority of adapters are made to fit with specific types of cameras and spotting scopes, but there are also several universal adapters, so it’s worth checking before you purchase. A universal adaptor will take longer to set up, so this should be taken into consideration.


When capturing an image, it is best to take a photograph with the sun on your back as the image will be much clearer as the amount of natural light is greater on the subject which is being digiscoped. Where light is poor, the resulting image will be grainy and of poorer quality. 
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